- Family and Parenting
How To Help Lonely Teenagers Make Friends
This is a situation I can identify with. Growing up, my dad had the kind of job that took him all over the place and we had to tag along. While it was fun seeing different places, et al, it was quite difficult emotionally for me - having to adjust to new places and meet and make new friends all the time. Being an introvert didn't make things any easier for me. Some people take the view that friendships develop naturally and teenagers especially can adjust to new situations and make new friends all by themselves. But, it isn't as easy as that for some teenagers. They have difficulty making friends - particularly because they are passive. They wait for others to become friends with them, rather than approach and become friends with others. Such teenagers could do with a helping hand. So, what can you do to help a lonely teenager meet new friends?
Well, one of the best ways to enable a teenager (who is new in town) meet and make new friends is to encourage them to enroll themselves in clubs/classes that they are interested in and where they are likely to meet other young people of their age group who share similar interests. If the teenager is shy, you can play the role of an enabler and help in fostering the friendship, but generally such situations enable spontaneous development of friendships since they are attending an activity they all are interested in (music classes, karate classes, dancing classes, etc.)
You could also ask them to accompany you to other social situations/events where people of their age group are likely to attend.
You could also convince your teen to do volunteer work, which would provide them the opportunity to meet new people. It would also help make them responsible individuals.
Another thing you could do is to encourage the teenager to take up a sport they like. Being part of a sports team is a good way to make new friends, gain social skills and also gain self-confidence. Sports would keep them physically fit too. So, its just a great way to ensure that your teenager makes friends, keeps healthy and out of trouble by occupying his/her time in a positive manner.